Understanding grief and giving ourselves the tools to experience a peaceful grieving process
When a loved one passes away, those left behind face a difficult and highly emotional period during which there are several things to think about and plan. That said, we wish to share with you some information based on our experience in funeral services. Our hope is for this information to help guide you through this difficult time, so your experience is as peaceful as possible. Those left behind are often struck by a tremendous sadness sometimes coupled with a feeling of disbelief. There may also be a number of adjustments needed to adapt to life without the deceased. Learning how to grieve is not a simple feat. Accustoming oneself to another person’s absence following their death is an uncomfortable yet unavoidable process. Taking the time to better understand the reality of grief and following valuable guidance could help bring you some much-needed peacefulness during this challenging time.
Every response to grief is unique
It is crucial to understand that no two people experience grief in the same way. There is no good or bad way to cope with the death of a loved one. Several factors come into play during the grieving process. Even members of a same family react differently and do not necessarily go through the same steps. Each relationship that the deceased had was unique, and so will be the grieving process for each individual touched by the loss. Allow yourself to experience emotions and to move forward in your grief. Avoid comparing yourself to others and allow yourself to move at your own pace.
With grief come several challenges
When a loved one passes away, those left behind often experience a multifaceted mourning process which includes physical or material-based grief should they need to move shortly after the person’s death. The process may also involve psychosocial grief from the loss of the relationship with the deceased. Allowing oneself to fully experience a healthy grieving process means allowing oneself to recognize and embrace the emotions awoken by all the collateral losses. You must take the time to unravel and deal with each individual layer of sorrow. With the loss of a loved one may also come the loss of future plans, the loss of a companion, the loss of a father who helped you in raising and caring for your children, the loss of a travel partner, of a tennis partner, etc. All of these losses can impact your sense of security, your beliefs and/or your outlook on life. These important pieces will take time to rebuild.
Grief is not only about emotions
Grief is a process that can disrupt several areas of your life. One’s reaction can vary from one area of their life to the next. Following the loss of a spouse, you may be better able to control your reactions when you are at work, for instance. If this is the case, the difficult times will most probably take place at home.
Grief, sadness and much more
Grief is also a huge melting pot of emotions that intertwine and change from day to day: fear, anger, guilt, loneliness, anxiety, unrest, nervousness, etc. Sometimes, these emotions come through physically as cognitive reactions, including confusion, numbness, fatigue, tension, inattention, flashbacks, etc. Your behaviour may change and you may feel disconnected from other people. Being aware of these types of challenges is a good first step in being able to identify them and to find the help needed to overcome them.
The unwritten path of grief
There are several misconceptions about grief. Some people think the grieving process should end after one year. Others believe there is a certain number of steps and that once these steps are done, so is the grieving. In fact, having specific expectations regarding the grieving process can actually make things worse. The process is made of ups and downs. While your reaction to the loss of a loved one may dampen over time, it may also reawaken. There are no set rules. The key is to allow yourself to experience emotions and to have reactions, without measuring yourself against false standards.
Finally, remember that grief is a process, not a permanent state. Despite the challenges and moments of great sorrow, it is important to allow yourself to experience the many twists and turns the process may bring. And remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to guide you along the way. Funeral services like ours can point you in the right direction and help you find the support you need.